Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Search Term: "elvin lim"

Book thumbnail image

1776, the First Founding, and America’s past in the present

By Elvin Lim
When a nation chooses to celebrate the date of its birth is a decision of paramount significance. Indeed, it is a decision of unparalleled importance for the world’s “First New Nation,” the United States, because it was the first nation to self-consciously write itself into existence with a written Constitution.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Obama’s State of the Union Address

By Elvin Lim
Obama’s speech last week was an attempt to be as partisan or liberal as possible, while sounding as reasonable as possible. “Why would that be a partisan issue, helping folks refinance?” the president asked as part of this strategy. The Republican Party continues to suffer an image problem of being out of the mainstream, and the president was trying to capitalize on this moment of vulnerability.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

By Elvin Lim
Conservatives hate it; liberals love it. His Second Inaugural Address evinces Barack Obama coming into his own, projecting himself unvarnished and real before the world. No more elections for him, so also less politics. He is number 17 in the most exclusive club in America — presidents who get to serve a second term. Yes, there’s still the bonus of a legacy. But the legacy-desiring second-term president would just sit back and do no harm, rather than put himself out there for vociferous battles to come.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Oxford authors on Sandy Hook

On 14 December 2012, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother before driving from his home to Sandy Hook Elementary School and opening fire on students and staff. Twenty children and six adults were murdered before the gunman committed suicide. Many Oxford University Press authors felt compelled to share their expertise to offer comfort, explanations, and understanding. Here’s a round-up of their recent articles on the tragedy.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

On the Second Amendment: should we fear government or ourselves?

By Elvin Lim
The tragic shootings in Newtown, CT, have plunged the nation into the foundational debate of American politics. Over at Fox News, the focus as been on mourning and the tragedy of what happened. As far as the search for solutions go, the focus has been on how to cope, what to say to children, and what to do about better mental health screening.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The era of partisan polling

By Elvin Lim
It is tempting now that the election returns are in for us to want to plow forward and forget the spectacular silliness we just traversed. But before we move on, it is critical that we call out those who had predicted a huge Romney victory, among them Dick Morris, Michael Barone, and Karl Rove. Ours is the era of partisan polling, and it is intellectually dishonest and bad for democracy.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Who did Sandy help?

By Elvin Lim
Everything is political at this time of the electoral calendar, so there is no use pretending that Hurricane Sandy will not have an effect on the presidential race. President Obama has been given a new life line. Forced to take politics out of his campaign, he can take a break from defending his record for two days. When an incumbent president is forced by emergency events to stop talking politics, he always enjoys the glow emanating form the Oval Office.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

With final debate over, ground game intensifies

By Elvin Lim
Mitt Romney barely passed the bar on Monday night’s debate. He was tentative and guarded, not just because he was being strategic, but because he wasn’t (understandably) in command of the facts of foreign policy of which a sitting president is in command. Barack Obama ‘won’ the debate, but it will have minimal impact on altering the fundamental dynamics of the race.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

On the second presidential debate

By Elvin Lim
The second presidential debate tells us about the candidates’ readings of their own campaigns. Both Romney and Obama were fighting for air time, trying to break out of the impasse of “he-said-she-said.” Women were mentioned about 30 times in the debate because Romney knew that he had to close the gender gap. Obama joined in on the China bashing because Romney has started to gain traction with workers in Ohio with his attacks on China’s trade violations.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Obama out of practice for first debate

By Elvin Lim
President Obama had a bad night. The key to succeeding in a presidential debate is recognizing that it is not a parliamentary debate. The rules, the moderator, and even the immediate audience (since they are not permitted to applaud) do not matter. Instead, candidates should bare their souls to the camera lenses. There, magic is made.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Obama is surging

By Elvin Lim
The Obama campaign, by fortune or by wit, has peaked at the right moment. Early voting has already started in Virginia, and starts in Iowa and Ohio next week. This means that the polls telling a uniform story of an Obama surge in crucial swing states aren’t just snap-shots; they are predictive of how voters — about 35 percent of total voters — are actually starting to vote as we speak.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The September Surprise

By Elvin Lim
Mitt Romney definitely did not count on foreign policy becoming a major issue two weeks after he chose budget hawk, Paul Ryan, to be his running mate, making his the weakest ticket on foreign policy for decades. What is even more perverse is that Romney himself chose to go off message.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Post-mortem on the DNC Convention

By Elvin Lim
The Democrats are enjoying a little bump from their convention last week, but it had little to do with Barack Obama and a lot to do with Bill Clinton. The reason why Clinton’s speech worked was because he was specifically charged to address the substance of his speech to independents and older white males. He was very successful in making his speech appear reasonable, while delivering very partisan conclusions. As such, the speech was becomingly presidential.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Post-mortem on the RNC Convention

By Elvin Lim
The Republicans’ convention bump for Mitt Romney appears to be muted. Why? There was a lot of bad luck. Holding the convention before the Labor Day weekend caused television viewership to go down by 30 percent, as did the competing and distracting news about Hurricane Isaac. The Clint Eastwood invisible chair wasn’t a disaster, but a wasted opportunity that Romney’s advisors should have vetted. V

Read More